The second half of July seen more parkrun PB's, a few 10K's and a couple of other races besides. Aside from the races, Richard Lowcock James trail group on a Sunday morning is proving very popular whilst Zero to Hero continues to help those aiming for 5K or now on the '5K to 10K masters'. With membership continuing to grow, there's even been talk of more sessions being added so watch this space.
Saturday 18 July – parkruns
After last weeks speedy times, I think a lot of the 20 Cwm Ogwr runners decided to take it a bit easier this week. Dave Evans and Nick continued their run of sub 21 minutes whilst there was a best since joining the club for Rhys Humphries with 21:12. There was a PB for Fiona Evans who amazingly had swum a mile beforehand and went out on the bike afterwards with Lorna joining her. Away from Porthcawl, Ann Davies got a course best at Colby whilst Chris Roberts equalled his 5K PB visiting Gunpowder parkrun whilst away in Essex.
Sunday 19 July – Torfaen 10K, Race for Life 10K, Great Newham 10K
Club record holder for 10K Neil Jones along with Neil Harris and Christie Coleman went along to the Torfaen 10K which caused a bit of a stir on our facebook page a few weeks back. The course is almost entirely downhill and for record purposes therefore doesn’t count towards PB’s / club records which I think put quite a few of us off although it should be noted that Run Britain still show it as a PB. Neil Jones did beat his incredible Caerphilly 10K time with a 38:46 whilst Neil Harris and Christie also got their fastest 10K times.
Shelley Smithson who had only recently started attending Zero to Hero ran the Race for Life 10K in Cardiff with an amazing time of 52:12. That actually makes her our second fastest female at 10K this year.
Meanwhile, Helen Griffiths was in London to run the newly titled Great Newham 10K. This was previously the London Olympics Anniversary Run and had been a 5 miler in past years. Helen actually attended the event a couple of years ago when she failed to get a place through the ballot but went along to support a friend. Me, Kelly, Jonathan, Ross and Chris Pratt (who we didn’t know at the time) also ran that year which involved running a course around the Olympic Park before finishing with 300 meters around the Olympic Stadium track. It still ranks as probably the best running experience ever for me. Helen ran the 10K course in 1:18 and another amazing experience added to her list of events this year that has already included ticking off an Aquathon and Triathlon with the 5 peak challenge still to come!
Wednesday 22 July – SSAFA Cardiff 5K
The third and final event of the 5K series seen Chris Pratt complete the set whilst it was my second attempt on the flat course around Blackweir. Chris had ran up the Bwlch with club the evening before so wasn’t sure if a PB attempt was on, whilst I was hoping for another sub 21 finish. Slightly cooler conditions than last time but still quite warm. Also seemed like a slightly bigger field for the final event. In the end, I finished in 20:57 for my sixth sub 21 time having only achieved sub 21 once coming into this year. Meanwhile, Chris smashed his 5K PB yet again with a 21:19. He has a few of us who are just ahead of that time (including me) quite worried as in his words he ‘feels like there’s more to come’.
Saturday 25 July – parkruns
More parkrun milestones with Jackie Lewis running her 100 parkrun whilst Natalie Griffiths reached parkrun number 50. Both women have barely missed a parkrun since their first attempt with Jackie running all 100 at Porthcawl (only the third person of any club do so) in just 120 weeks whilst Natalie achieved her 50 after starting just 56 weeks ago and is currently on a consecutive run of 15 in a row. In true parkrun spirit, Kelly baked a cake to celebrate which I’m gutted I missed as I had to run off soon after.
Richard Lowcock James led a run to parkrun around the sand dunes with Chris Pratt and the Garratts joining him. I got down to Porthcawl early and ran most of the way to the dunes to meet them for the final section. Chris Pratt carried a pirate costume in a camelback to get changed last minute. I should point out it was the Porthcawl Sea Festival and it had been mentioned for a few weeks about runners dressing up but there weren’t too many in the end. Good effort by Chris though as per photo below.
As for the parkrun itself, Chris Roberts who has more PB’s than any other runner at Porthcawl added another to the list knocking a further 12 seconds off his previous best with a 21:31. There’s something about the name Chris and PB’s as Christie Coleman also set a PB. Cerys Edwards ran her first parkrun in over a year but has come back faster than ever also getting a PB. Meanwhile Jayne Kembery notched up her 10th PB in 12 parkruns going sub 32 minutes with a 31:59. I think we can quite safely say it’s between her, Chris Pratt and Chris Roberts for the most PB’s certificate at the presentation this year.
We had one parkrun tourist which was Fiona Drysdale who informs us she ran the most northernly UK parkrun at Inverness clocking up a speedy 24:47. A seasons best and fastest since joining the club and good enough for 4th fastest CORC female this year
Chairman's Runner of the Month - Chris Roberts
Another amazing month for Chris who has been in contention for 'runner of the month' every month since joining with the continuous improvements. Chris arguably ran 3 parkrun PB's this month - I say arguably as his second equalled his best rather than beat it. He also notched up a 10K PB at the Two Tunnels race in Bath. Plus, he's responsible for signing up his daughter who is now the female club record holder at 5K and convinced his wife to join who also got a 5K PB this month!
The parkrun family
There was some talk the other day about the number of couples / families now part of the club which got me thinking... which family have done the most parkruns...
Richard and Helen Lowcock James 218
Gareth and Amanda Jenkins 101
Richard and Heather Garratt 100
Kelly Owen, Jonathan, Kerry and Cerys Edwards 88
Dai, Jayne and Tracey Kembery 76
Chris, Sue and Amy Roberts 67
Dermot and Rhian Nolan 15
Pretty convincing lead for the Lowcock James although if you count Porthcawl only then the Garratts would lead the way. I have only included couples, children and siblings as it gets a bit complicated after that. I'll have to a word with Amanda about getting back to it... and when are those twins 4 years old so they can run as well!
A look ahead to August
Snowdon Marathon training will be well underway for a few of us. Events include Brecon 10 miler, Afan Argoed Half Marathon, Severn Bridge HM, the CPR challenge and plenty more parkruns including more significant milestones.